Women over 50 often experience similar stresses to men in their mid-life. They may face concerns related to aging, finances, health, wellness, relationships, career choices, and more. However, fortunately, both sexes can rely on experience and wisdom to see them through this tricky phase of life. Many who have raised families finally discover time for reflection and seek to focus on what they really want out of life at this new juncture. While many women are deeply satisfied with their personal lives and professional careers, some may question whether their life choices are right. Or they may simply be seeking to stay competitive in the workforce. Today, women are turning to education for support. In fact, going back to school after age 50 is the new norm, per Forbes. Thus, it is highly acceptable for women over 50 to attend college.
College Consensus explains that people aged 50 plus who seek educational experiences may want to challenge themselves, stay busy, have social interactions, keep their minds sharp, or pursue their dream . Some may choose to expand their potential by reinforcing what they already know, increasing their base knowledge, or exploring entirely new career paths. Either way, it all begins with returning to school after age 50. Middle-aged women likely possess previous work experience or may be currently employed. Going back to school may render them more valuable at their workplace or provide them with opportunities to make career changes or options to start their own businesses. Some working women may choose to attend college courses part-time with or without the support of their employers. Others may take a leave of absence or be financially secure to leave their jobs to pursue college full-time.
There are many women who find success later in life, unashamedly following their passions to learn and share skills and talents they’ve acquired and honed. For example, Julia child didn’t publish her first cookbook until age 39. And, at age 51, she made her television debut in The French Chef. Designer Vera Wang didn’t become a designer until after she was married at age 40 and had to commission her own wedding dress for $10,000. According to Los Angeles Times, the pandemic disrupted businesses and disproportionately affected women, with significant numbers laid off or leaving their jobs to care for children. However, a separate study shows that while businesses struggled during the pandemic, many college-educated mothers kept their jobs by working remotely. However, the change did present some unique opportunities for women to start businesses, particularly for those with more financial stability in dual-income households. The pandemic’s focus on virtual interface enabled many people to connect with others, even attending college classes online rather than in person.
Today, there’s a whole movement of brave women who are seeking to return to college to redefine who they are and what they do. Many of those who are over 50 rely on experience and wisdom to guide their way into exciting new career directions. Returning to college can be deeply satisfying especially for women who feel unchallenged or lost in their current path. The college experience provides a sense of purpose. Not only does it enable women to expand and learn new skillsets and build knowledge, but it also directs them to increase self-confidence and leadership abilities. Education solidifies self-assurance to confidently take on new positions or to become a boss. Thus, higher education for women over age 50 is more than acceptable; it is downright empowering.